3 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2014 8:28 AM by philmodjunk

    Opening a PDF User Guide from any Layout



      Opening a PDF User Guide from any Layout


           Hello everyone,

           I have a couple layouts in my database, and I would like to add a button at the top of each one that would allow users to open, read and maybe even search the database's PDF User Guide, right from within the database. Is this possible? I swear I've looked into Filemaker's manual and googled it, but wasn't able to find an answer to this one. I don't know where I should put the PDF file, or how to open it later on.

           Maybe it's really easy, and I'm just looking in the wrong place. Can someone help?

           Have a nice day!

           Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Opening a PDF User Guide from any Layout

               But why make it a PDF file? Why not set it up as some layouts with search fields that are part of your database? That would allow you to build context sensitivity into the system. (Click the help button or select help from a custom menu on layout A and open the help layout with a record providing info on Layout A. Do the same from Layout B and the system finds the record(s) for how to use Layout B...)

               What you describe could be done (at least in windows) if your button were to use Open URL to open the PDF file. Such a button could also open a PDF file stored in a container field in your database in several different ways: a) Export field contents could export a copy to the temporary folder and open it. b) if inserted with Insert File with the "store a reference" option selected, go to field with the "select" option enabled would open the PDF file. c) in FileMaker 12 or newer, you can take the user to a layout, or open a new window and go to a layout where the PDF has been inserted as a PDF into a container field "optimized for interactive content". Then the user can read the PDF directly inside this container field.

          • 2. Re: Opening a PDF User Guide from any Layout

                 You are absolutely right! I was missing the point completely.

                 So I went ahead and created a layout to test this out. This would be the "Main Manual" layout. Now, I copyed the instructions text I had typed previously from Pages, selected the Text tool and then pasted it directly into the "Main Manual" layout. But maybe this isn't the way to go, right? I tried using the Quick Find to search the text and I got a message saying "Error - There are no fields accessible by Quick Find in this layout."

                 Now I'm not sure what to do. Do I need some sort of field? And if so, which type, and in which Table should I create it?

                 Thank you so much.

            • 3. Re: Opening a PDF User Guide from any Layout

                   I would set up a table where I can put this text into text fields of different records. I'd then add other fields that serve as category names and keyword tag lists that can be used for searching your help table for help records just like you might for any other part of your database. Here's an example: Say you have a Layout for editing Clients data and a different Layout for creating and editing invoices. You can create a record in your help table for the Clients layout and enter or paste the instructions for working with the Clients Layout into the text field. Then you can enter "Clients" into a field that identifies the relevant layout. Create a new record, enter "invoices" into this layout name field and then enter or paste instructions for the invoices layout into the text field and now you have one help record for each of these two layouts.

                   With this setup, you can put help buttons on these two layouts and the scripts performed by these buttons can use the current layout name to find the matching help record for that layout--producing a built in context sensitivity in your help system.